What’s In My Underwear? Understanding Urine & Discharge Colours and Warning Signs to Look Out For

If you’ve ever glanced down at your underwear and wondered what you were looking at, then you’re not alone. Urine leakage or discharge appearing in your pants is very common for both men and women and often nothing to worry about. However, if something feels or looks abnormal, then it might be time to seek medical help. 

We’ve outlined the different urine and discharge colours  below, along with some potential warning signs to look out for. It’s important to examine your underwear thoroughly, particularly if the colour of your pants is dark as intimate fluids can be more easily concealed. 

One of the best ways you can feel confident, while little leaks are occurring, is by investing in the right products. Browse our range of TENA incontinence products online so you can manage leaks on-the-go. 

Urine in underwear: what to look out for

The colour of your urine (or urochrome as doctors refer to it) depends on a multitude of factors, from what you eat to the medications you take. The urochrome is produced as the body breaks down haemoglobin i.e. the protein that carries oxygen through your red blood cells. For a full breakdown on how the bladder operates,  be sure to read our article with Dr John S. Young.
 
Many shades fall on the spectrum of “normal” colours of urine , however there are some that may be cause for concern. If you’re wondering, what colour your urine should be then keep reading.
 
My urine is clear

If the urine is clear  in your underwear or pad, there’s nothing to worry about. This means that you are exceeding the recommended amount of water you should drink per day. Remarkably though, it is possible to drink too much water, so if your urine is always clear, then you may need to cut back on H2O.
 
My urine is yellow
 
If you drink lots of water, you will have diluted urine . However, if you are seeing yellow or orange coloured pee in your underwear then you need to increase your water intake. So what does bright yellow urine mean ? Having lots of B-vitamins in your bloodstream can also cause urine to appear neon yellow. Urine that is on the orange side can be an indication of dehydration, or in more serious cases adult-onset jaundice, so make sure you stay hydrated.
 
My urine is red
 
In most cases, red or pink urine can be caused by eating fruits that have naturally darker pink or red pigments including beetroot, rhubarb and blueberries. However if there is blood appearing in your urine, then it could be an indicator of an enlarged prostate, kidney stones or in very serious cases a tumour. Speak to your doctor if you are unsure about the pink/red shade of your urine, and be extra thorough when inspecting your underwear – particularly if you’re wearing black pants as the urine colour can be concealed.

When should I see a doctor about my urine?

If you have visible blood in your urine, or it is light pink or dark red in colour, then you should see a doctor right away. It’s important to not only monitor the colour of your urine (particularly if wearing darker underwear), but also seek medical help immediately if you notice any signs of blood.
 
Be sure to look at our full breakdown of what each urine colour means and the medical conditions they may indicate for further information.

Discharge in underwear: what to look our for

Both vaginal and penile discharge are mostly nothing to worry about and are natural processes. For men it typically occurs during sexual activity and for women it is part of the menstrual cycle. However a change in odour, colour, frequency or consistency can all be indicators of an underlying infection or condition. Read below for our guide on what to look out for in your underwear and what your discharge’s appearance may say about your health.

My discharge is watery and clear

A clear and watery discharge is perfectly normal for vaginal discharge and penile discharge. It may occur at any time of the month for women, but may be heavier during or after exercise.

My discharge is white

If you spot white discharge on underwear,  this is perfectly normal for the beginning of a woman’s menstrual cycle. However, if the discharge is paired with itching and has an especially thick consistency, then it may be a sign of a yeast infection. 

For men, if white discharge is paired with painful urination and testicles, then it may be a sign that you have an STD, so make sure to see a medical professional immediately.

My discharge is brown or bloody

Discharge that is brown and bloody can occur during or right after your period, with brown discharge at the end of your period being normal. You may also experience spotting in underwear , i.e. a small amount of bloody discharge in between periods. 

In rare cases, brown or bloody discharge can be a sign of endometrial or cervical cancer, that’s why it’s important to get a yearly pelvic exam and smear test, if eligible.

My discharge is yellow or green

Yellow or green discharge that is thick or accompanied by a foul smell isn’t normal and may be a sign of trichomoniasis (an infection most commonly spread through sexual intercourse). 

For penile discharge, this colour paired with painful urination may indicate Gonorrhoea and you should seek urgent medical attention.

When to see a doctor about discharge

If you experience any of the abnormal discharge colours or consistencies mentioned above, then you should see a doctor as soon as possible. 
 
Other symptoms to watch out for are fever, pain in the abdomen, abnormal weight loss, tiredness and urine leakage. 
 
 
If you are dealing with urinary leakage or discharge in any capacity, be sure to look at our incontinence pads for men and women . Remember, if you are wearing darker underwear, it’s harder to spot a problem, so keep an extra eye out for any of the abnormalities we’ve listed. 

Men

For men who experience bladder leakage.

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Women

For women who experience bladder leakage.

TENA Lifestyle woman trying on a dress